In BLOG, Education, Family Support, Parents Recommend, Preschoolers

Kindergarten, TK, Private School K or Preschool K, a Pod or Home School?

It comes up every year as parents of children in the 4 -5 year old range weigh their choices for the coming school year. We offer comments from local parents and articles by experts for your consideration: Kindergarten, TK, Private School K or Preschool K? Read them all, add in your gut feeling and choose. If maturity or readiness change, you can change your mind!


The TK and K dates are set in stone. One option is to enroll your child in Kindergarten and opt to have her do a bonus year of Kindergarten the following year.

Another option, instead of TK at the public school, is to enroll in a pre-kinder program at a preschool. Building Kidz of Scotts Valley has a wonderful pre-k class! Our son who has a 7/29 birthday didn’t make the TK cut off. But was in their pre-k class as a very young 4 year old. He learned letters/ letter sounds/counting/writing letters/cutting paper/gluing/and they even do a Spring and winter theatre art show. We had a wonderful experience there!

Parent of multiple kids – I have a June kiddo who missed the TK deadline last year by 10 days. He will enter Kinder this fall at SVUSD. He’s neurodiverse and I’ve been also concerned about his ability to succeed academically being on the younger side.  I also had similar conversations with the school psychologist and other district professionals because I was worried he’s behind his peers and may struggle in a few years. I don’t want to eventually have to hold him back academically because he would lose his peer setting and that has deep impacts on a kid’s self esteem. But, I’ve been assured by the information I’ve been given that he’s not that far behind, he’s definitely within range for an almost 5 year old.  I’ve decided to continue with Kinder enrollment and take it one step at a time. If he needs interventions in a few years, we’ll figure it out then. I’m very much not the type to fly by the seat of my pants, so I’m making a conscious and deliberate decision to go with it and just keep my pulse on him/his needs.  And yes, I also learned that there are on enrollment ages for TK and K. I also asked about TK placement for this coming year but was told it wasn’t doable.  Hope sharing my experience helps you make the decision that’s right for you and your kiddo. Parenting is not for the faint of heart!

Parent – In college (a long time ago!), I remember learning that boys did better socially if they were on the older end of their peers, but that girls did better socially if they were on the younger end of their peers. The study stated that boys were better liked when they physically matured earlier than their peers while girls were less well liked when they matured earlier than their peers. For this reason, we put our August son in kindergarten when he was almost 6. I haven’t ever regretted this decision. If I had an August daughter that I worried about academically, I would have waited. Otherwise, I probably would have put her in on time. That being said, you know your child best; I hope that you can work out something that you feel good about.

Parent – Our daughter was a late August birthday. Academically it was fine socially a little harder but that was more about her personality. With our 2nd born in June and needing some extra time we went to private school for a year and then transferred to kinder. There are TK style preschools too.

Parent – Sadly, there is no flexibility. You can of course decide to put her in private preschool. I’ve known many others in your situation. That said, you know your child best. My daughter’s birthday is in August. She will attend TK this next fall and then Kindergarten in Fall 2024. I am a December birthday and it was always hard being the oldest in the class.

Parent of multiple kids – I tried the same. My kids are premie born 8 weeks early but have august 8 birthdays. They had no ability to hold them back. My concern is also in highschool and college readiness. But I will deal with that later

Parent – I also have an August baby, who is now 14 years old. We struggled with the decision about whether to have her start kindergarten just after turning 5, wait until she was 6 or do two years of kindergarten. We decided to start kindergarten and in retrospect, I’m so glad that we did. Looking at her physical development (which was so much ahead of the boys and many girls in her grade as she got her period early), social connections (she often struggled with feeling more connected to older kids than her peers, despite being the youngest), and academics (school is still not super challenging for her), I can’t imagine if she was a year behind in school. On the other end, this gives her the luxury of a gap year without feeling pressured to rush off to college. Her older brother, who with a December birthday (before they changed the kindergarten deadline), is among the oldest in his grade and doesn’t want to wait until he’s about to turn 19 to start college.

Parent – My daughter is a July baby and she was fine throughout school. She’s graduating from college in May! These issues never even crossed my mind. And never held her back from anything she wanted to do.

Parent – Private school then transfer to public Kinder.

Parent – Private school initially and then transfer, they have more leniency.

Parent – My older daughter’s birthday is Aug 11.  She benefitted from doing a bonus year of Kindergarten. Her first year of Kindergarten was half days, and then the 2nd year went to full days, so there was a little difference for her.

Parent – My younger one, is born at the end of May, I asked about enrolling her in TK, it was told I couldn’t, she ended up in a combo class TK/K and it was great, she didn’t even need a bonus year (which before school started, I thought she would need)

NY TIMESOpinion | Delay Kindergarten at Your Child’s Peril (Published 2011)

THE ATLANTIC ‘Parents Can Relax a Little’: The Problem With Academic Redshirting

NPRA top researcher says it’s time to rethink our entire approach to preschool

NPR – The Tennessee Pre-K Debate: Spinach Vs. Easter Grass

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